A Team’s significant local derby against St. Bernards

Match Report on our ‘A’ teams 1-1 draw with St. Bernards on Sunday last. Better late than never…..  A local derby of huge significance to both teams season ahead took place on Sunday last in Abbeyknockmoy. St Bernards were looking to extend their lead at the top of the table while our A team looked to keep their recent league momentum going to put themselves back in the promotion mix.

The players arrived for the warm up to calm conditions and light drizzle. However, in the next 2 hours the game was played under heavy grey skies as weather conditions changed into challenging wind and rain. In testament to St. Bernard’s, their pitch held up well allowing the game to be completed.

Colemanstown started the brighter team with chances falling to Tom Flan, John O’Brien and Dylan Grady early on but St. Bernards centre backs were equal to the cause. On 20 mins after some brilliant work and running Dylan Grady cut through and was taken down in a central position in front of goal. Up stood Tom Flan with a sweetly struck ball into the bottom right as the keeper got his finger tips to it but it had enough power to sneak in over the line. From tip off Bernard’s piled on the pressure where Craig Kennedy swung in a ball from the left which struck Padraic Quirke’s arm (captain in Alan Finn’s absence) & Eoghan Roche stood up to take the penalty which was struck well but John Gormally pulled off an excellent save to keep Bernards at bay. Bernards continued to pressure our back 4 in search of an equaliser. Paddy Mullins broke from the left into our box and going over easily to a Jason Finn tackle was awarded a dubious penalty decision. Paddy took the penalty himself and again Gormally got his finger tips to it but it wasn’t enough to keep it out. From here til the final whistle weather conditions deteriorated vastly with a strong swirling wind and heavy rain. This had its effects on the game stopping both sides from playing any real football.

The second half was a tense affair with limited chances for either side. John Gormally in excellent form making a handful of important stops. Colemanstown’s lads worked their socks off for the full 90 minutes putting bodies on the line to battle for the points. Steven Walsh full of energy from right back, Jason Finn and Conor Jackson powerful and resilient in the centre, Ronan Carr putting in a big shift at left back. Dylan Grady on the right wing with one of his best displays in a green shirt so far worked tirelessly for the 70 minutes he was on the pitch. Padraic Quirke and Ray Moran battled in the engine room not giving the Bernard’s midfield any time to settle. Garry Lally slotted in on the left leading by example. With Tom Flan and John O Brien up top, they always looked threatening when chances were created. Not to mention our strong bench. It’s not often in junior football that managers have huge selection problems for substitutions. Gladly it’s a problem our management team of Ronan Geraghty and David Gilligan have created. With Alan Finn, Damien Wynne, Ronan Geraghty and Geordan Kenny coming on, we also had Sean Walsh, Mossy Carr, Jarlath Healy, Jack Kennedy and Shane Lally on hand.

Overall with condition’s taken into account the game could have ended with a win for either side and a draw is probably the fairest result as both teams deserved something for their huge efforts. Our A Team have one game left before the Christmas break – a home league fixture against Mervue B this Saturday. Victory in this game will see Colemanstown firmly in contention at the top end of the table once more going into the New Year.

Man of the match – a tough decision between Dylan Grady and John Gormally. The judges edged for Gormally, who as it turns out broke his wrist in saving the first penalty and managed to play the full game afterwards with a brilliant display. We wish him all the best in his recovery and look forward to having him back early in the New Year.